Apr 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

Americans seek comfort from garden to kitchen during coronavirus pandemic

A woman picks up flowers from a garden center in Long Beach, California. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak has driven a surge in cooking, baking and gardening across the United States, as most Americans are mandated to remain at home except to get essentials.

The big picture: The renewed interest in food and cooking during the pandemic may extend beyond the need to eat. Daily creative projects can help reduce stress and promote well-being, according to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

  • 90% of Americans are concerned about the coronavirus, according to an Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
  • 37% of Americans surveyed said their emotional health had declined as of mid-April.

The state of play: Baking yeast sales surged by 647% for the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • King Arthur Flour’s website had sold out of yeast and a number of flours by the end of March, but planned to restock within days, the company said. And March was the company's busiest social messaging month, it told the Washington Post. The company received 22,000 messages in the first three months of 2020, more than double the messages it had received in all of 2019.
  • Seed companies have also reported significant sales spikes as consumers turn to gardening, according to Politico.

Flashback: The number of households that grew their own food blossomed from 36 million to 42 million between 2008 and 2013, largely because of economic uncertainty triggered by the Great Recession, according to a National Gardening Association report.

Go deeper: Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,919,364— Total deaths: 364,459 — Total recoveries — 2,490,221Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,745,606 — Total deaths: 102,798 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.